With the release of a brand new iPad 2, we thought we should celebrate with a collection of some of the platform's best exclusive games! What better way to break in that Apple A5 processor (or even the original Apple A4 processor!) than with a couple of big, gorgeous casual games? Look for more iPhone or Android games next week!
BallFallDown - Physics toys are awesome, and this iPad-exclusive is built for one thing: so much fun! BallFallDown provides you with a blank woodgrain canvas and a set of tools to work with. Nothing too complex, just balls of various weights and sizes, platforms, teleporters, tubes, bumpers and flippers. Everything can be rotated and placed wherever you like, it just takes a few fingers and a bit of creativity. What's the goal? There is none, just play around with spawning ball baskets and see what kind of trouble you can stir up. Create and save layouts to view and tinker with them later. The game is just simple enough to draw anybody in, but the more time you spend with it the more fun you wrest from its pixels. With the tagline "some assembly required", you can't help but be curious. The free BallFallDown is available, as well as the more full-featured BallFallDown Deluxe.
Halcyon - From stylistic designer Zach Gage, creator of Unify and Bit Pilot, comes another artistic sort of game, this time for iPad owners only! Halcyon is best described as a puzzle game with musical elements fused with a time-managing drawing game like Flight Control. Your goal is to connect currents to bring like-patterned pieces together. Direct them to the correct areas and they fly together, disappearing from the screen. Depending on which mode you choose, you can expect a blissful or a taxing experience. Either way, it's awesome, and there's something oddly trancelike about directing triangles against a background of soothing sounds and music...
Word Geek - Like spatial puzzles but also love words? This simplified sort of crossword puzzle lays out a matrix of five letter words, each crossing over a few others in key areas. You are given no clues, you just have to guess which word fits. After typing in a word, you're told if a letter is correct and in the right position, or correct but in the wrong spot. Work your way across the grid using trial and error, digging up some fairly obscure words from the recesses of your vocabulary. A great game for any word nerd, and loads of fun to play with a friend. Just one nitpick: why is the in-game keyboard in alphabetical order?! Word Geek Free is also available.
Slice HD - Here's an idea: a game you don't want to touch. While everybody else focuses on creative new ways to get your hands on your iPad, this one encourages you to pull them away. Blades shoot on the screen and cover up a button you're trying to get at. Carefully slide each sharp object away, holding it with a finger while you use other fingers to move other blades aside. It's tough, but possible, with one player, but even more fun if you get a friend in. Kind of like finger-based Twister. It's a bummer you're sent back a level after failing, but other than that, the game is a treat to play. If slicing your fingers can be called that.
Panopticon - A nice little game for us steampunk fans! Panopticon takes advantage of the iPad's large screen and multitouch capabilities to create an interesting sort of experience. Your goal is to move all of the orbs to their respective slots. The trick is you can't move one orb at a time, you have to have contact with all orbs to move any of them. That means your hands will be splayed across the screen as you twist, rotate, and perform harrowing finger-switch moves with the orbs in dangerous locations. Push and pull pieces of the board to squeeze through, and marvel at how motivated you'll be to beat each of the game's 100 stages. A fantastic experience, especially with a friend, and the music (provided by Verninan Process) is phenomenal.
NOTE: Games listed may not be available outside of North America. Prices are subject to change and are therefore unlisted. Please see the individual game pages for purchasing info.